For Remembrance Day 2020, composer Toby Nelms has teamed up with Rodney Earl Clarke and Georgi Mottram to bring to life a piece of music, Letters from Home, which commemorates the lives of those we have lost. With many Remembrance Sunday events unable to take place due to the pandemic, this statement piece of music represents that we will indeed continue our acts of remembrance despite being unable to gather together in person.
The single has been composed by Toby Nelms, with lyrics by Micah Mackay.
Toby Nelms, whose works have previously been featured on BBC’s Late Night Proms, has played with Britain’s Got Talent winners, Collabro, and has musically directed cabarets with the West End Cast of Les Miserables. He is excited to introduce Letters from Home to the public and hopes that the message it sends will touch a chord with many. Rodney Earl Clarke (Les Miserables, Sondheim Theatre, Porgy and Bess, Berlin Philharmonic, BBC Friday Night is Music Night) is thrilled to be bringing to life a new musical work, providing vocals for the track alongside Georgi Mottram. As a Classic Brit Award nominee with her group, Ida Girls London, Georgi has enjoyed performing in shows internationally and in the UK (West End Live, The Other Palace, Noosa Alive, Jersey Opera House, Adelphi, Charing Cross Theatre). She is equally as thrilled to be bringing this story to life.
Toby’s composition bridges the gap between classical and musical theatre, as he explains: “In composing this piece I’ve tried to create an emotional connection between the present day and the war times of the 20th century. Harmonically the song draws on the palettes of English pastoralists such as Ralph Vaughan Williams and George Butterworth. Whilst the vocal writing sits comfortably in the musical theatre genre.”
In a statement by lyricist, Micah, she explains the importance of this piece and what it represents: “This year we remember all those who lost their lives during times of war and periods of conflict. However, it is also important to remember that this year has also been one of isolation. We have been separated from loved ones, face-to-face communication has been difficult, and we’ve often been unable to express our emotions in person. Many of us have lost loved ones, many of us have sacrificed time with our families and those we care about, and many of us have suffered the effects of loneliness and isolation.
At times like these words become even more important than usual, whether it is through a text message, by a phone call or, in this case, through a letter. ‘Letters from Home’ commemorates all those lost during war time but also remembers those who we have lost and have been separated from this year. It is a tribute to the lasting power of words during times of conflict, isolation and anxiety. Moreover, it encapsulates the hope we all have to be reunited with our loved ones and to be able to tell them face-to-face how much they mean to us.“